- Business and Employment
Why You Need to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Small Business
Virtual Assistant Service
Starting or managing a small business can be a fulfilling experience. Apart from the economic gain you derive from the business, the mere fact that it is your business is enough to give you the necessary motivation to see it expand.
However, managing a small business can be very challenging. Regardless of whether you manage it on a full or part-time basis, there are problems and issues that will arise. Such problems and issues can take a toll on both your time and personal freedom. Indeed, you may find yourself working in your business instead of working on it. Some of the problems and issues you are most likely to deal with or are already dealing with include but not limited to;
- Lack of enough time for yourself and your family.
- Lack of adequate knowledge and skill in a particular area of the business.
- Information overload.
- Lack of clear direction on where you want to take your business to.
- Inability to be innovative in your business.• The challenge in acquiring and maintaining clients.
- Poor marketing strategies.
All these and others not mentioned can take a serious toll on your time, comfort and possibly your health. Although you have the option of engaging an employee or employees to assist in performing some business tasks, a more practicable and viable way is to engage the service of a virtual assistant. Indeed, it can be economical to do so considering that you will not have such issues as employee taxes, employee benefits and insurance to deal with.
Who is a Virtual Assistant?
Simply put, a virtual assistant is an individual or company who performs administrative, creative or technical duties remotely. He/she is an independent contractor who uses his/her own resources in performing assigned tasks. Although there are companies providing virtual assistant service, most virtual assistants happen to be individual freelancers who specialize in either one or two different areas.
There are established virtual assistants whose main occupation is providing virtual assistant services. Thanks to the Internet, their main mode of communication is by email, VOIP (Google Voice, Skype) and instant messaging among other communication tools.
There is no doubt that you can be a very organized individual who optimizes his/her daily routine. However, you need to remain alive to the fact that doing so can only take you up to some point. It is time to realize that you will not be able to grow your business if you continuously remain tethered to your business desk. Engaging the service of a virtual assistant may be what you need to do to grow your business.
What to Outsource
Engaging a virtual assistant literally means outsourcing some business tasks. Although it is often hard to give up control coupled with the fear of letting someone else into your business secrets, there is always someone out there in form of a virtual assistant with whom you can start and build a long-term business relationship to help your business grow.
There are is quite a lot that you can outsource in order to have enough time to work on your business and enjoy the benefits of your labour. Depending on the size of your business, you can outsource the following;
• Bookkeeping including follow ups on pending bills and invoices.
• Online research on consumer trends and new products/services.
• Business database entry operations.
• Business data presentations.
• Email management (receipt and responses).
• Social tasks including designing and writing thank you cards.
• Travel research.
• Routine scheduling.
• Business chasing.
• Order processing.
• Phone calls.
These are just but a few of the many business tasks you can outsource to a virtual assistant. Where then do you find a virtual assistant? Unlike in the past, virtual assistance is now big time business. Indeed, it is not surprising that there are established institutions that provide virtual assistance training. Virtual assistants are now professionals in their on right. They provide their services to both small business owners and corporations around the world.
There are simply many places you can turn to in your search for a reliable, professional and trustworthy virtual assistant;
• Twitter/Facebook/Instagram – Believe it or not, many professional virtual assistants are to be found on social media sites. You are bound to receive a huge following and expressions of interest the moment you post anything to do with the need for a virtual assistant.
• Your network – Your own network is most likely to include other business owners, professionals and business mentors. These are the people to share with your need for a virtual assistant. Chances are that they know one or two they can recommend to you.
• Workshops/Events – Attending business workshops and events can be a very easy way of finding a virtual assistant. These are professionals who are always out searching for opportunities and chances are high that they attend organized business workshops and events ready with their business cards.
• Business colleges/campuses – A chat with a college professor or counselor can be very helpful in finding a part-time virtual assistant. Indeed, many students provide virtual assistance services not only as a way of getting some extra money but also as a way of gaining insight into their chosen business career.
• Online freelance sites – This is probably the one place you are sure to find a virtual assistant in the shortest possible time. You only need to create an account with an online freelance site as an employer or a client. You are bound to receive hundreds of bids once you post a virtual assistance job.
How to Choose a Virtual Assistant
The likelihood that you will attract many virtual assistants ready to provide you with the necessary service will always remain high. It therefore becomes necessary to know how to find a virtual assistant who is reliable, trustworthy and dependable. Consider the following factors when analyzing who to engage;
• Communication – Regular communication becomes a very important factor to consider because a virtual assistant will never set foot in your business premise. Settle for one who is able to communicate on a regular basis.
• Experience – Choose a remote assistant with some level of business experience. You will need to ask for verifiable references for past work.
• Social media knowledge – Millions of consumers are on social media sites. Choose an assistant who is knowledgeable about workings of social media sites.
• Business clients – Do choose an assistant who is not only ready to learn about your products or services but also ready to learn about your target customers.
• Time management – It is a good idea to choose an assistant who is always on standby to perform your business tasks. It can be very frustrating to engage an assistant who is engaged by many business owners.
These are just a few of the important factors you need to take into consideration when interacting with a potential virtual assistant. The secret to finding the right assistant is in assigning small tasks that serve as a test.
There are simply many and varied activities that relate to a business. Although most do appear minor, they can be time-consuming and monotonous to a point where they become stressful. Such tasks are better left to the right individual or company with the time, expertise, skill and the necessary experience, the virtual assistant.
© 2016 TOM GARD